Monthly Archive: April 2001


1. Title of the study: Belarus: prospects in the XXI century”.
2. Topics of thematic coverage: political, social and economic factors of transformations of Belarusian society, preparation to presidential elections.
3. The aim: to study the most important facilitators and obstacles of development of Belarusian society, to support Belarusian democratic forces for social transformations
4. Descriptors: market, economic attitudes, socio-political positions and attitudes, integration, free and democratic election, electoral behavior, opposition, political preferences, political parties, mass media
5. Comparability: most important questions were replicated
6. Geographical area: Belarus-national
7. Principal investigator: IISEPS
8. Polling organization: IISEPS, P.O.B. 219, Minsk, 220030, Belarus, e-mail:
9. Fieldwork dates: 2001, April
10. Population sampled: 18+ years old residents of Belarus who are not currently in hospital, jail, military service
11. Sampling: clustered random
12. Sample size: 1461 respondents
13. Mode of interviews: face-to-face interview
14. Interviewers: part-time and university students
15. Control: selective control of interviewers
16. Related publications: more then 10 publications in mass media
17. Availability of the original data sets: contact with IISEPS
18. Source of information: IISEPS



1. Political-psychological factor
Over the last years Belarus has constantly been criticized for human rights violations and non-correspondence to democratic standards. Official authorities reject this sort of charges, referring to their biased nature and political motivation. Thus, it would be interesting to know the opinion not only of the US State Department and domestic human rights groups, but also what common Belarusians think.


Even before the presidential election date was set, political situation in the country was very complex. Proofs could be found in totally unexpected places. For example, some senior officials have begun to conceal their attitude towards political events in the country, declining to fill in our questionnaire, though previously they did it. Such denials we received, for example, in the presidential administration, high courts and its bodies, the Central Election Commission, the Chamber of Representatives, some ministries and state-run newspapers. It seems that officials have received a proper ban.


As one could see from Tables 1 and 2, over four years A. Lukashenko’s cumulative rating has plummeted, regardless of some “rises” (for example, after Russia’s default). Over last year ratio of his convinced supporters and opponents has stabilized and is equal to 1:2. This is proved by the analysis and another cumulative rating: ratio of respondents who are satisfied with A. Lukashenko’s ruling, and at the same time would like him to be the president for another term (16.2%), and those who are not satisfied with his ruling and at the same time would not like him to be the president for another term (28.6%) is 1:1.8.


As we could see from Table 1, the overwhelming majority of adult population (70.3%) is going to take part in the upcoming presidential election. Such level of intention to participate in the election could be explained not only by importance of presidential election as compared to, for example, parliamentary election, but also by the fact that many our fellow citizens are dissatisfied with A. Lukashenko’s ruling and hope to change it at the election.